Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Hoops with Monks

Today, we had an ordinary morning.  I woke up and had simple instant oatmeal with only sugar.  I eat this every morning and have grown quite fond of it.  I then finished my school work for the day.  I completed some math, and read 100 pages of my current book, a story taking place during the Chinese cultural revolution. 

After lunch, my parents and I went to a field near the clinic with a basketball hoop.  Mom, Dad, and I were shooting hoops when a teenage monk joined us and started playing.  Then more monk kids started to come.  The young kids were shy at first.  But with time, we practically had a game going!  After playing for an hour and a half, the monk kids had to go to school, and the playing stopped.

On our way back to the clinic, we ran into Martin.  He lives in Switzerland, and practices Shabala Buddhism (a branch practiced in Western countries.)  He is teaching English in the Monastery next to our clinic.  He wondered if we wanted to go for a hike with him up into the hills.  We grasped the opportunity, and headed up towards a Buddhist retreat center.  When we passed the center, we had to be very quiet.  Monks go to this isolated place to meditate in silence for three years.  Three is an important number to Buddhists; three times around the Khora, three incense burned at the temple, and three years of meditation.  As we passed the retreat center, we heard drums. We hiked above the retreat center, to the top of a mountain where prayer flags were draped.  From there, we  looked down at the beautiful village.  We then hiked down the other side of the mountain leading right down to the Stupa, where we do the daily Khora.

Retreat Center

We came back to our peaceful clinic.  Before dinner I had my first bath in Surmang.  In an outdoor shower stall, my Dad and Mom poured water from a basin onto my hair.  I then washed myself.  It feels good to be clean in my dirty clothes.  Tonight, the two Tibetan men of the clinic, Phonsuk one of the Tibetan doctors, and Wambau, the translator,  cooked a soup with eggs, greens, and homemade noodles.  I liked it but not the greens. They tasted like spinach to me.

I am excited to explore more of Surmang tomorrow 

Thank you for reading Rohan Geographic! 




  1. Even after playing hoops with young monks and hiking into a tranquil meditation zone, Super Rohan is still the cool cat in the hat with his Dad at his side and his bubble gum popping away.Love GPM

  2. Wow - what a beautiful place! I'm very jealous!

  3. Great pictures! Very pretty. At least now in the summer! Do you any idea how the people get around in the winter? Skis? Snowshoes? Lots of shoveling?

    All together now - a one, a two, a three (I told you I'd get back to this)

    "Smelly smelly smelly, yak dung heat is smelly. Rohan's room is smelly, but warm!" (*grin*)

    Any idea what flower that is in the first picture?

  4. Hi guys I am loving your comments, I have no idea what that flower is Andrew. Thanks for commenting!

    Rohan Geographic.